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The Power of Monitoring

The Power of Monitoring

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The Power of Monitoring
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016

Next up on our #PowerOfDalet blog series, and following up on our article two weeks ago on the Power of Analytics in Dalet AmberFin, we are now exploring the Power of Monitoring in Dalet Galaxy. While you can (almost) always troubleshoot and find a way to make your media files work, wouldn’t it be even better if you could maintain and even optimize your system performances over time, and identify potential issues at an early stage, before trouble sets in?

If this is the case, we need to talk!

Thanks to Dalet Dashboard, system operators and administrators today have access to centralized, state-of-the-art analysis tools for monitoring and managing the performance of Dalet solutions and third-party systems across the entire media workflow. Dalet Dashboard is a key tool to maintain your system performance over time; but even more importantly, it is a key asset to lowering your hardware infrastructure and maintenance costs, and optimizing global infrastructure performances.

Monitoring a broadcast system is a big challenge

How do you know when your system is under-performing? What could be a good indicator for that?
 
The simple and obvious answer is hardware performance. High CPU usage over time, memory leaks, storage problems and so on, could all hint that there is (or about to be) a problem. But consider that your hardware could be running smoothly, with absolutely no sign of any bad news to come, while a major problem quietly brews, not showing itself...yet.

It’s the Dalet Dashboard to the rescue!

Backed by the next-generation monitoring engine Icinga, Dalet Dashboard fully leverages this engine built for high performance, which benefits from a multi-threaded design (as opposed to older monitoring systems) and makes it possible to monitor thousands of devices in a very efficient way – it could run thousands of quality checks every single second!

Dalet Dashboard is critical in maintaining the smooth and seamless daily performance of the broadcast environment. It continuously checks the system’s various components, analyzing their utilization, spotting problematic parts and alerting the system administrator to fix them at an early stage – before it becomes too expensive to fix.

The Dashboard keeps an attentive eye on core components, such as the Dalet services, the Dalet name servers, the Dalet core agents, the Dalet SQL server, the various storage components, third-party systems, and so on.

By centralizing system monitoring and management, Dalet Dashboard provides a new approach to enterprise broadcast system management for site administrators and engineers, with global administration tools, smart alerts and notifications, and customized reports and statistics.

Common use case scenarios for Dalet Dashboard

Envision a common scenario: storage space is running low. This can can severely affect the overall performance of the entire system. This is where Dalet Dashboard comes into action – as soon as the free space drops below the pre-defined threshold, an alert is sent to the appropriate operator, who receives the necessary information and data to take measures to fix the issue.

Sometimes the problem is not that easy to detect. For example, an incorrect design made by the system architecture could result in a heavy load on some Dalet core agents, while other agents are idling most of the time. Dalet Dashboard is able to catch that at an early stage, quickly identifying that a specific agent is hammered with too many requests, and notifying the site administrator with a recommended course of action, such as a different load distribution.

Dalet Dashboard takes system monitoring and management a step further

In order to have a clear view of the site performance, customized dashboard views are provided, showing the key measurements of the site performance, making it very easy to spot troubles from a high level – low free space, disconnected core servers, SQL server not running, servers are out of sync, etc. For that we use a state-of-the-art graphing tool – which is very easy to customize, making it possible for each site to organize the dashboard to show the views most relevant to them. For example, some sites are metadata only (no media), hence they do not need storage-related information, but they do care about the rate of titles/wires created.

A dashboard view can be constructed, showing side-by-side time-series graphs or tables of data, showing the most important metrics

Dalet Dashboard will save your organization money

Using Dalet Dashboard to monitor organizational needs can even help facilities save money – they can use the statistics it provides to determine when the site is used most, when is it idle, if we are using virtualization, etc. We can use those measurements to realize when more power is needed and, alternatively, when we can reduce some of the resources.

It can tell us whether we need more server machines, or maybe some existing hardware is not needed, and so on. Acting as an intelligent partner, Dalet Dashboard will help you tailor your infrastructure to your needs.

Learn more about Dalet Dashboard and check out how Dalet Galaxy can improve your media workflow.

Please contact us if you would like to talk to a product specialist or set up a demo.

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